Is Kenya Shooting Itself in the Foot by Over-Reliance on End-Year Tests?

September 15, 2014

By Kajuju Kiogora Via Daily Nation

The dominant debate in education circles this week revolved around the just released report on the performance of pupils in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams. Of particular concern was an English composition that has been doing the rounds on social media, and which the Kenya National Examinations Council judged as one of the worst written last year.

One person following this conversation keenly is James Mbugua, a 21-year-old who is planning to resit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams next month, when his knowledge of a four-year syllabus will be tested. It is unfair, he knows, but that is the system. Like the poor pupil who wrote that English composition, all he has learnt in his life, all his intelligence, all his capacities, will be assessed based on what he puts on paper.

In this article, the author investigates whether ‘we are setting realistic standards for students and giving them a fair chance to their dreams.’ He quotes APHRC’s October 2013 Briefing Paper on ‘Nationally Standardized Continuous Assessment Tests at Various Grades for Improved Academic Achievement’ which calls for the amendment of the existing law to allow assessment of pupils at various grades using nationally standardized tests before the end of the primary school cycle.

For more on this story, you can find the article here.